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OFFICE OF FARMLAND PRESERVATION (OFP)

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Farm Transition Resources

Comprehensive Farm Transition Planning Materials

Farm Transfer and Estate Planning Legal Guide - (University of Vermont Extension, 2006)
This is a thorough guide to estate planning, including information about passing assets, wills and trusts, gifting, titles to property, tenancy and more.  This is one chapter of a larger publication titled “A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont”.

Farm Transfers in Wisconsin: a Guide for Farmers - (Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 2003)
This publication provides a comprehensive overview of the obstacles, options and the opportunities available to both exiting and entering farmers as they face farm transfers from one generation to the next. 

Planning the Future of Your Farm  - (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2012)
This is a thorough farm transition planning workbook for landowners in Virginia that includes farm transition articles and worksheets.  It also includes good information on conservation easements in Virginia.

Planning Today for Tomorrow's Farms: A Workbook for Tennessee Farm Families - (University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, 2009)
This workbook provides a solid foundation to understand basic farm and forest succession planning concepts and processes, including using professional services to develop a high-quality farm succession plan.

Resources for Family Farm Transfer (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
This is a series of questionnaires, quizzes, surveys, literature, sample documents and steps for family members to use in preparing to transfer the farm. This link should be used as a tool to facilitate family planning, discussions, and agreement; it is a great place to begin.

“Two Generation Farming” Series - (Iowa State University Extension, 1998)
This 3-part article series presents a succession planning model where two generations (senior and junior) work together and develop a workable plan.

Step One:  Getting Started
Solid introduction to the two-generation planning process, covering the critical elements of income division, asset transfer and management transfer.

Step Two:  Selecting A Business Arrangement
An examination of the legal agreements under which a two-generation operation might work, including wage and incentive agreements, operating agreements, and advanced business organizations.

Step Three:  Making it Work
Covers communication strategies essential to a successful two-generation operation, including conflict resolution and management development.

Family Communications, Goal Setting and Assessment

Farm Family Questionnaire (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
This worksheet helps farm families think about and discuss what will happen with the family farm in the future

Lifestyle Values and Choices: Survey for Young Farmers (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
A worksheet to help young farmers and their families decide how involved they want to be in agriculture and to help plan the farming future.

Who Will Get Grandpa’s Farm? Communicating About Farm Transfer (Purdue University School of Consumer and Family Services Web site)
This is an online interactive video and information series created by the Purdue University School of Consumer and Family Services for anyone considering farm transfer. The series follows a farming family as a case study to increase understanding of communication strategies and to apply communication strategies to farm transfer. The series demonstrates strategies for communicating, and helps family members consider how attitude, preparation, timing, and behavior affect communication.

Farm Business, Financial and Tax Planning

Business Development Checklist (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
A brief checklist on business development, including marketing, insurance, business plan, etc.

Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate - (Iowa State University Extension, 2009)
This document explains how to determine what to charge for renting cropland, and illustrates examples for calculating rental rates.

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Planning for Long-Term Health Care -   (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension covers planning for long-term health care, including Medicaid eligibility, exemption and disqualification; and long-term care insurance.  

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Powers of Attorney - (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension examines the importance of establishing power of attorney as part of any estate planning effort.

Farm Linking

Choosing a Farm - (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
This checklist is good for both current and aspiring farmers. It includes things to consider when purchasing a farm.

New Farmer Q and A (New England Small Farm Institute Web site)
This link provides answers to many questions new farmers may ask from the New England Small Farm Institute.

Land Preservation

Landowner Considerations in Selling Development Rights or Donating Conservation Easements (Virginia’s Rural Economic Analysis Program, 2007)
This article provides an overview of conservation easements; and the financial, tax and future land use implications for Virginia landowners of donating or selling a conservation easement.    

Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Virginia Outdoors Foundation Web site)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) is Virginia’s largest easement holder, and has protected almost 550,000 acres of land in Virginia since 1966.

Legal Issues and Business Structure

Farm Rental Agreement Checklist (Ohio State University Extension, 2001)
This document provides a good, brief list about the provisions that should go into a farm rental agreement.

Farmland Tenure and Lease Agreements (University of Vermont Extension, 2006)
This publication includes an agricultural lease checklist, explanation of the essential terms of a lease agreement, land owners liability, liens, and default provisions.  This is one chapter of a larger publication titled “A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont”.

Lease Agreement Guide for Landowners and Farmers (University of Vermont Extension, 2002)
This is a clear guide to lease agreements, and includes easy-to-understand steps and considerations for both parties in lease agreements.

A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont (University of Vermont Extension, 2006)
This is an extensive legal guide for the business of farming.  Chapters include the following: Legal Structure of the Farm Business, Farm Transfer and Estate Planning, Farmland Tenure and Leasing, Agriculture and Land Use Regulation, Farm Labor Regulation, Water Quality and Environmental Regulation, Farm Insurance, Regulation of Organic Agriculture, and Regulation of On-Farm Food Processing and Marketing.

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Advance Medical Directives (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension outlines advanced medical directives (also known as “living wills”), and includes suggestions for drafting these directives in Virginia.

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- An Introduction to Trusts (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview of trusts, and how and why these trusts should be used. 

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Love, Marriage and Divorce (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview of the rights of spouses in property upon divorce, and how to take the possibility of divorce into consideration when developing a farm transition strategy.

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Probate and the Probate Process (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview of the probate process used to settle the estate of those that have died, both with or without a will.  

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Rights of Surviving Spouses and Children (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension outlines the rights that surviving spouses and children have in Virginia when they perceive that the deceased failed to adequately provide for them.

Ownership Structures for Your Farm or Ranch: Some Basic Considerations (University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
This document describes the various ownership structures used to manage a farm business operation.

Risk Management Checklist (United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency)
This document provides information to farmers to help them evaluation their exposure to risk.

Sample Lease Agreements(University of Vermont Extension, 2006)
This appendix to “A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont" provides an example of sample lease agreement.

Service Providers

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Building Your Financial Team: Financial Planners (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview on how to pick a financial planner, and what to expect from this planner.

Meeting with Professionals (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
A good checklist of documents and issues you should take and/or mention when meeting with professionals.

Selecting an Attorney (Pennsylvania Farm Link Web site)
This is a good article on how to choose an attorney, what to take on your first meeting, and how to keep the consultation costs low.

Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages - Building Your Financial Team: Financial Planners (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009)
This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview on how to pick a financial planner, and what to expect from this planner.

Additional Farmland Preservation Information and Technical Assistance:

Virginia: Andy Sorrell, Coordinator, OFP 
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219
804.786.1906 • Fax: 804.371.7786
E-mail: Andrew.Sorrell@vdacs.virginia.gov

National: Farmland Information Center
a partnership of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and American Farmland Trust (AFT).

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